So what’s next? Unless you’re one of those outliers who leaves their Christmas decorations up until Valentine’s Day or Easter, it’s time to get the house back to some semblance of normalcy. That can start with putting away those Christmas ornaments and other decorations. Here are a few tips.
First, get rid of everything you don’t love. Toss it in the garbage, sell it, donate it — it doesn’t matter. Get it out of the house. That goes for ornaments and tinsel, strings of lights (especially if they’re burned out), stocking hangers, old artificial trees, whatever.
For things you keep, here are some bits of advice. Put wreaths and garland in wreath storage bags. They’re large and can accommodate a lot of stuff, and some of them zip up and have handles for easier carrying. Some are even large enough to bag a small tabletop Christmas tree (artificial, of course).
As for ornaments and other breakables (figurines, etc.), wrap them in bubble wrap and place them in one large storage bin. That will keep them safe and grouped together for unwrapping next Christmas. You can also buy ornament-storage containers with subdivided compartments of varying sizes to accommodate your cherished decorations. Finally, don’t forget to label any boxes or storage containers that you use. That will keep you from opening and closing every box you have just to find one specific thing next year.
Here's a consideration that’s only come into play within the past five years or so. If you own inflatable, outdoor decorations, try to put them back in their original boxes. If those aren’t available, make do with another box or plastic bin. The longer they’re exposed to the elements, especially if they’re in a non-climate-controlled environment, the faster they’ll deteriorate.
When it comes to your lights, wrap the strands around rectangular pieces of cardboard to keep them from getting tangled. There’s nothing more frustrating than dragging out the lights before Christmas only to spend the first half-hour of your decorating trying to untangle a nest of cords. Another pro tip: Make sure your lights still work before putting them away for the year. If you had some burned out bulbs this year, replace them, or if you’re past that point, toss them and go buy some new lights after the first of the year, when they’ll probably be on clearance.
If you have room in a closet, garage or attic to keep your holiday décor, that’s great. If not, consider renting a small storage unit (if you don’t already have one). If you do go the storage route, you’ll want to keep everything off the floor if possible, and be sure to stack your more breakable items on top of other, sturdier boxes or furnishings.